Quotations of Wisdom

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Peter Neumann

Remember, extremism in the nondefense of moderation is not a virtue. [Q357]

Grover Cleveland

What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something? Trust the people, trust their good sense, their decency, their fortitude, their faith. Trust them with the facts. Trust them with the great decisions. ... What wins is more important than who wins. [Q1843]

Senator Paul Simon

The Telecommunication Act of 1996 passed overwhelmingly. I cast one of six votes against it. The measure contained some good things, but it opened the door wide for concentrated ownership in radio and television. Since its passage there has been a huge shift in radio toward a few large corporations owning all the major outlets. In St. Louis, for example, six of the fourteen stations are now owned by one corporation that has holdings all over the nation. The value of radio stations shot up after the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and soon the top three corporations in radio ownership had sold everything to one company ... Can I say that up to this point this has caused any harm? No, but it will. — (Paul Simon's Autobiography, page 297) [Q1817]


For though we love both the truth and our friends, piety requires us to honor the truth first. [Q844]

Senator Paul Simon

While I accept the Christian beliefs, I reject the absolutism and rigidity which is too often part of Christian followers as well as those of other faiths. I believe that logic an lead to a belief in a Supreme Being, whatever the name. [Q1693]

Woodrow Wilson

There can be no equality or opportunity if men and women and children be not shielded in their lives from the consequences of great industrial and social processes which they cannot alter, control, or singly cope with. [Q749]

Ken Robinson

If a man speaks his mind in a forest, and no woman hears him, is he still wrong? [Q1951]


The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. [Q863]


Death is not the worst that can happen to men. [Q877]

Adlai III Stevenson

The small daughter of a famous divine was busy with her crayon and pencil, and her mother asked her whose picture she was drawing. "God's," she replied. "But, dear, nobody knows how He looks," her mother admonished. "They will when I'm finished," said the child. [Q1841]

Franz Kafka

By imposing too great a responsibility, or rather, all responsibility, on yourself, you crush yourself. [Q303]

Cesar Chavez

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him... the people who give you their food give you their heart. [Q2073]

Stephen Hadely

Initial reports are encouraging. In the end of the day, it's going to be deeds, not words, that matter. [Q1201]

Stephen Jay Gould

Nothing is more dangerous than a dogmatic worldview - nothing more constraining, more blinding to innovation, more destructive of openness to novelty. [Q1807]

Christopher Hitchens

Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it. [Q1248]

Mohandas Gandhi

Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. [Q564]


I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint — 8th Century BC [Q1389]

Wendell Berry

Let us have the candor to acknowledge that what we call “the economy” or “the free market” is less and less distinguishable from warfare. [Q1337]

John Stuart Mill

It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied. Better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool or the pig are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their side of the question. [Q1949]

Todd Solondz

When part of what you're trying to get at is the truth hidden under a taboo, or when you want to nail a hypocrisy, laughter is a very useful tool. I want to show the painful side of existence, but there is no question I also want to make people laugh. [Q478]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents. [Q471]


Beware the barrenness of a busy life. [Q1315]

René Descartes

You just keep pushing. You just keep pushing. I made every mistake that could be made. But I just kept pushing. [Q1129]

Meister Eckhart

Only the hand that erases can write the true thing. [Q1628]


Courage stands halfway between cowardice and rashness, one of which is a lack, the other an excess of courage. [Q775]

Margaret Mead

Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation. [Q954]

Václav Havel

People who live in the post-totalitarian system know only too well that the question of whether one or several political parties are in power, and how these parties define and label themselves, is of far less importance than the question of whether or not it is possible to live like a human being. [Q1781]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. [Q1217]

Jawaharlal Nehru

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new; when an age ends; and when the soul of a nation long suppressed finds utterance. [Q991]

Václav Havel

I really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government, where words can prove mightier than ten military divisions. [Q1746]

Meister Eckhart

The more we have the less we own. [Q1630]


Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens. [Q887]

Senator Paul Simon

When I have my "Chamber of Commerce speech" in communities, I tell them they need to do three things to move ahead economically: work hard; be creative; take risks. The same applies to individuals and the same applies to political parties. [Q1824]


Does not the law serve the truth? - "Kung Fu" Empty Pages of a Dead Book 1973 Season 2, Episode 13 [Q614]

Jesse Jackson

At the end of the day, we must go forward with hope and not backward by fear and division. [Q1547]

Scott Nesler

In the non answer is the answer. [Q1953]

Woody Guthrie

Life has got a habit of not standing hitched. You got to ride it like you find it. You got to change with it. If a day goes by that don't change some of your old notions for new ones, that is just about like trying to milk a dead cow. [Q355]

Václav Havel

Our country is not flourishing. The enormous creative and spiritual potential of our nations is not being used sensibly. Entire branches of industry are producing goods that are of no interest to anyone, while we are lacking the things we need. A state which calls itself a workers' state humiliates and exploits workers. Our obsolete economy is wasting the little energy we have available. [Q1785]

John Adams (HBO Miniseries)

Our first step would be to incur a national debt. The greater the debt, the greater the credit. And to that end I have recommended to the president that Congress adopt all the debts incurred by the individual states during the war through a national bank. The idea being that if the states owe Congress money, then other nations will feel more inclined to lend it to us. — (Unite or Die[5]) Alexander Hamilton [Q1134]


No man is free who is not master of himself. [Q818]

Robert Krulwich

When a cousin, or an uncle, or a buddy comes up and asks you, "so what are you working on?" even if it's hard to explain, even if you know they don't really want to hear it - not really - I urge you to give it a try. Because talking about science, telling stories to regular folks is not a trivial thing. Scientists need to tell stories to non-scientists because science stories - and you know this - have to compete with other stories about how the universe works and how the universe came to be. And some of those other stories - Bible stories, movie stories, myths - can be very beautiful and very compelling. But to protect science, and scientists - this is not a gentle competition - you've got to get in there and tell yours, your version of how things are and why things came to be. [Q724]

David Hume

To hate, to love, to think, to feel, to see; all this is nothing but to perceive. [Q1363]

Galileo Galilei

It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved. [Q945]

Albert Einstein

Measured objectively, what a man can wrest from Truth by passionate striving is utterly infinitesimal. But the striving frees us from the bonds of the self and makes us comrades of those who are the best and the greatest. [Q293]

Brian David Josephson

Logical thinking is thinking based on propositions and on consideration of the truth or falsity of propositions. Its primary usefulness is in situations where facts can be relied on to remain facts — in other words, in circumstances where nothing really new or unexpected is likely to happen. — Prologue to Edward de Bono's I am Right You are Wrong [Q1988]

Senator Paul Simon

In a presidential race, who is losing or gaining three points in the latest polls receives much more coverage than where the candidates stand on poverty or foreign policy. It is easy to cover the trivial. A drop in the polls will receive more attention than an in-depth speech on national health care. The average sound bite on network TV news for the Republican presidential primary of 1996 was 7.2 seconds. Almost half the second bites were less than five seconds. Try to say something of substance on any issue in 7.2 seconds! The media should be here not simply to make money, but also to serve, and that service can be improved. [Q1814]

Ludwig Fuerbach

In religion, man denies his reason. [Q1524]

Franklin Roosevelt

Theirs were not the gods of things as they were, but of the gods of things as they ought to be. — Speaking of Thomas Jefferson. — Monticello - Studio 360 [Q1147]

Henry David Thoreau

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. [Q299]

Paul Krugman

If hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, conservatives often seem inclined to accept that tribute, voting for candidates who publicly espouse conservative moral principles whatever their personal behaviour. [Q1706]

David Mitchell

My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops? &mdash Cloud Atlas [Q2092]

Michel de Montaigne

Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know. [Q1174]


You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor. [Q869]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good. [Q1083]


It is not so much our friends' help that helps us, as the confidence of their help. [Q801]

Mohandas Gandhi

My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realising Him. [Q567]

Stephen Hawking

It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value. [Q730]

Alan Guth

It is said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But the universe is the ultimate free lunch. [Q1071]

Hiram Johnson

The first casualty of war is truth. [Q1860]

Ward Cunningham

The code might be organized in a hierarchy, but the solution has more dimensions than will fit in a hierarchy. So when you discover a solution in a dimension that crosses across the hierarchy, you just have to go where the solution takes you and put the solution in. [Q1017]

Marshall McLuhan

Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn't know the first thing about either. [Q1451]

Thor Heyerdahl

In my experience, it is rarer to find a really happy person in a circle of millionaires than among vagabonds. [Q1536]

Albert Einstein

The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer. [Q18]

Edward B Titchener

Empathy [Q2048]

Lisa Nesler

I have now discovered where children learn strategy, sharing, bargaining, bartering, sales, verbal, non-verbal, and social skills. It has very little to do with home life, and everything to do with the lunchroom. I witnessed bargaining and bartering while sitting silently at lunch in an elementary school. Had I not known better, I would have thought I was in Soulard Market on a Saturday morning. At least you know that when you send lunch to school. SOMEONE is eating it. And really, your kids DO eat....something....maybe Grace's PB & J, or Charlie's carrots. [Q1812]

Paul Elmer More

We are born knowing nothing and with much striving we learn but a little; yet all the while we are bound by laws that hearken to no plea of ignorance, and measure out their rewards and punishments with calm indifference. [Q464]

Adlai Stevenson

Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse. [Q1654]

Charles Lindbergh

It is the greatest shot of adrenaline to be doing what you have wanted to do so badly. You almost feel like you could fly without the plane. [Q1938]

Mohandas Gandhi

You've got to be the change you want to see in the world. [Q593]


I seek not to know all the answers but to understand the questions. — Kung Fu Television Series 1972 - Episode # 14 [Q528]

Thurgood Marshall

Today's Constitution is a realistic document of freedom only because of several corrective amendments. Those amendments speak to a sense of decency and fairness that I and other Blacks cherish. [Q757]

Jesus Christ

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone... [Q1226]

Herbert Simon

Technology may create a condition, but the questions are what do we do about ourselves. We better understand ourselves pretty clearly and we better find ways to like ourselves. [Q647]


The misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool. [Q805]

George S Patton

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. [Q501]

Steven Spielberg

We have to realize that people are not born with hatred. They acquire it. We have the responsibility to listen to the voices of history so that future generations never forget what so few lived to tell! [Q1221]

Jerry Garcia

He used to be a gambling man just like you until he sank so low that there was nothing that no one could do. &mdash Old & In The Way – The Hobo Song [Q2069]

Pete Seeger

I like to say I'm more conservative than Goldwater. He just wanted to turn the clock back to when there was no income tax. [Q349]


From the very fountain of enchantment there arises a taste of bitterness to spread anguish amongst the flowers. [Q1558]

Senator Paul Simon

Those who practice rigidity and absolutism in the name of religion, whether simply by word or with arms, will not persuade. [Q1703]

Mohandas Gandhi

Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good. [Q33]

John Maynard Keynes

There is no harm in being sometimes wrong- especially if one is promptly found out. [Q36]

Margaret Mead

Prayer does not use up artificial energy, doesn't burn up any fossil fuel, doesn't pollute. Neither does song, neither does love, neither does the dance. [Q955]

Erwin Schrödinger

The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist. [Q1437]

Wendell Berry

The teachers are everywhere. What is wanted is a learner. [Q1324]

Noam Chomsky

The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people. [Q160]

Nick (Momus) Currie

In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen people. [Q1838]


The eyes of the soul of the multitudes are unable to endure the vision of the divine. [Q897]

Douglas Haig

The idea that a war can be won by standing on the defensive and waiting for the enemy to attack is a dangerous fallacy, which owes its inception to the desire to evade the price of victory. [Q1055]

Arthur Miller

A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself. [Q1660]

Edmund Burke

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. [Q1870]

Benjamin Franklin

Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to win them. [Q29]

Bill Clinton

We can't make the perfect the enemy of the good. [Q86]

Václav Havel

The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility. [Q1755]


I need a sign to let me know you're here, cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear. I want a reason for the way things have to be. I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me — Calling All Angels [Q2039]

Thomas Jefferson

Nothing gives a person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances. [Q202]


Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly. [Q789]


If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost. [Q848]


That we are possessed by what we would possess; held in bondage to earth and vested things by the attachments we form for them.. Even so holy a thing as a chalice. So slight a thing as a pebble. — 1973 Season Two Kung Fu Series - The Chalice. [Q572]

Blaise Pascal

How can a part know the whole [Q669]

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